The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

School board plans workshops to start superintendent search

 

December 21, 2017



The Wahkiakum School District board of directors will hold some special meetings in January for workshops to organize their search for a new superintendent.

Twenty-five year veteran Bob Garrett announced last week he would retire at the end of the school year.

At their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, directors decided to enlist the aid of their Educational Service District staff to guide the search.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, directors heard of concerns of water leaking into the floor of the high school welding shop and efforts to take care of the leak, and addressed other business.

Director Paula Culbertson suggested using the ESD's superintendent search services. Agency staff are already familiar with the district, she said; the district can tailor their services to district needs, and the cost would range from $4,500 to $7,500.

Other professional firms usually cater to larger districts and start fees around $12,000.

"I think we can tweak the services we need," she said "We're already doing some of it."

Board Chair Shawn Merz suggested a series of workshop meetings in early January in order to prioritizes tasks and get the search going so that the directors could make a selection in early spring.

Directors agreed to hold meetings January 2, 5 and 9 at 4:15 p.m. and another tentatively during the day on January 11.

Culbertson said she would contact the ESD and invite their representative to attend and discuss contract details.

Water leaking onto the floor of the high school welding shop is a shock hazard and should be addressed, a couple told the directors. One student had been shocked while welding, they said.

The situation is being addressed, said Administrative Assistant Brent Freeman.

Staff have been aware of the leak for months and have been trying to determine the source, he said.

A plumber was scheduled to arrive yesterday (Wednesday) and divert plumbing around the suspected leaking pipes in the cement floor. If the leak continues, they'll take further action.

Freeman said he believes the student was shocked by accidentally touching a ground at the work station, not because he was standing in water. When he and staff inspected, there was no current in the water, he said. They filed an accident report and felt it was a minor incident requiring no further action.

Superintendent Garrett said he had only learned of the incident on Tuesday from one of the directors. He told the couple the normal process for airing concerns or complaints is first go to the teacher, then the principal, then the superintendent, and finally the school board.

"Feel free to come to me at any time," he said.

In other business, Freeman reported maintenance staff would be busy during the Christmas break working on the high school gym floor, installing safety straps on basketball backboards in the middle school gym, replace wrestling room heaters, and tackle other cleaning.

At some point soon, a sawyer will reduce the number of limbs on the ancient Douglas fir which stands alone near the school access road.

Freeman said the tree is losing limbs in storms, and some broken limbs are barely hanging there.

If they determine the tree is unsound, it would be cut down. In that case, the district should use the wood for commemorative or other uses, said Director Dan Wilson.

The board also agreed to move its January meeting from Tuesday, the 23rd, to Monday, the 22nd.

 

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